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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Epstein-Barr Virus



  • Definition

    The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) discovered in 1964, is believed to be the causative agent in infectious mononucleosis. In South African children, it is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma; and in Asian populations with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Why the virus has these different and varied associations in different geographical areas is unknown. Also it is the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that has become widespread in the United States. EBV is a member of the herpes family and is related to the viruses that cause genital herpes and shingles.


    Causes

    Epstein-Barr virus causes chronic fatigue syndrome. Highly contagious, it can be passed from one person to another by close contact, kissing, sharing food, and coughing, and it can be sexually transmitted. A person cannot become immune to EBV, and antibiotics will not help, because it is a viral disease. The virus causes "overreaction" of the immune system, which results in a type of immunity "burnout".

    Chronic fatigue syndrome may also be caused by the fungus Candida albicans, chronic mercury poisoning from dental amalgam fillings, anemia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, and sleep problems.

    The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta estimates that tens of thousands of people are infected with EBV. Many are only carriers of the virus and are unaware that they have it because they have no symptoms. Once EBV is contracted, it remains in the body, but most people develop antibodies to EBV.


    Symptoms

    Chronic fatigue syndrome, also called the "yuppie disease", has symptoms that include: fever, sore throat, swollen glands, extreme fatigue, appetite loss, recurrent upper respiratory infections, intestinal problems, jaundice, anxiety, depression, irritability, and mood swings, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to light and heat, temporary memory loss, difficulty in concentrating, headache, spasms, and aching muscles and joints. They symptoms of this syndrome resemble the flu, so it is not always diagnosed correctly. It is often misdiagnosed as hypochondria, psychosomatic illness, or depression, because the tests routinely ordered by doctors give negative results. A cure or vaccine for this virus has not yet been developed. It is difficult for doctors to identify, and the symptoms vary widely. This syndrome is 3 times more prevalent in women than in men.

    If a person has elevated antibodies and if several of the symptoms mentioned persist for 2 or 3 months, EBV is suspected, especially if all other symptom-producing illnesses have been ruled out. The doctor must rule out endocrine diseases, AIDS, infections, anemia, parasites, and the other diseases that cause similar symptoms.

    EBV is not life threatening, but it is still incurable and can do serious damage to the immune system. It is important that family members fully understand this disorder and realize that the person suffering from this virus is not exaggerating or faking the symptoms.


    Nutrients

    Ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, 5,000-10,000 mg. per day, has a powerful antiviral effect. Coenzyme Q10, 75 mg. per day, enhances the effectiveness of the immune system. Egg lecithin, taken as directed on the label with meals, promotes energy and enhances immunity. Maxidophilus, taken as directed on the label (Candida destroy the necessary "good" bacteria). Proteolytic enzymes, 2-3 tablets between meals and at bedtime on an empty stomach, helps remove undigested foods from the bloodstream and reduces inflammation. Garlic capsules, 2 capsules with meals, promotes immune function and increases energy. Germanium, 200 mg. per day, improves tissue oxygenation and immune function. Vitamin B complex (stress formula), 100 mg. 3 times per day, is essential for increased energy levels and normal brain function. Liver, 2 cc. Vitamin B12, 1 cc. Multivitamin and mineral complex, 100 mg. 3 times per day.


    Herbs

  • TB
    • Atractylodes
    • Burdock root
    • Dandelion
    • Echinacea
    • Garlic
    • Goldenseal
    • Nettle
    • Pau d'arco
    • Sicklepod
    • Starflower
    • Valerian


    Recommendations

    60% of the people infected with EBV also have Candida, and should add some form of acidophilus to their diet. Eat soured products such as yogurt. Drink plenty of water, 8 glasses per day, and juices. Make sure the bowels move every day, and add fiber to the diet. Eliminate the following: fried foods, junk foods, processed foods, stimulants including coffee, tea, and soft drinks, sugar, and white flour products such as bread and spaghetti.

    A well-balanced diet of 50% raw foods and fresh juices are good. The diet should consist mostly of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seeds, raw nuts, skinless turkey, and deep-water fish. Do not eat shellfish. Take chlorophyll in tablet form or obtain from the liquid of vegetables, such as a "green drink" from leafy vegetables or wheatgrass No aspirin should be taken because Reye's syndrome may result. Make sure to not overexert with heavy exercising.


    Suggestions

    For more information on EBV, contact the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, 9000 Rockville Pike, NIAID-OC, Building 31, Room 7A-32, Bethesda, MA 20892, or call this service at (301)496-5717.

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